China sees marked increase of domestic violence complaints

Updated: 2007-11-25 10:52

BEIJING - A senior official of the All China Women's Federation (ACWF) said on Sunday that domestic violence complaints in China is on the rise.

Jiang Yue'e, head of rights and interests department under the ACWF, said the federation received 40,000 to 50,000 complaints on domestic violence annually, and the number of cases kept increasing in recent years.

Statistics from the ACWF showed that 50,000 complaints on domestic violence were reported to the federation last year, up 70 percent over the previous year.

"The increase indicates that domestic violence is widespread in China and women's awareness of safeguarding their rights and interests has been improved with reinforced publicity by relevant institutions," Jiang said.

Chinese women in rural areas, especially those working in cities, are susceptible to family violence, according to Jiang.

A survey conducted by the ACWF in 2006 showed that 11.6 percent of the female respondents in rural areas said they had fought with their husbands during the previous year, while the proportion rose to 13.5 percent concerning women who came from the countryside but are now working in the cities.

"Female migrant workers are restricted in accessing legal assistance as they are constantly on the move," Jiang said. "For example, divorce is more costly for them in China to use as a way to escape from family violence than women from urban areas."

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